Patricia Gagic: A Dedication to Artistry
Patricia Gagic has devoted her career to expanding on her artistry in ways that she herself could not have imagined. Along the way, her journey has taken her around the world and across several mediums that she has incorporated into her own works of expression that have been met with critical acclaim.
As a contemporary artist, Patricia Gagic has taken the world by storm via several mediums from fine art and photography, to author and activist. By no means is her journey over, and as always, Gagic is eager to share her perspectives on creating a path to artistry that resonates. In this exclusive interview, she shares how her mission to dedicate herself to her art has impacted her life and what it means to be a lifelong artist.
Your art covers several mediums. Did you have a blueprint for your career that you wanted to stick to or were you open to expansiveness?
My passion and enthusiasm for being creative really started with photography as a hobby. I did not have the means to buy expensive paints in my early days, therefore ink became my go to. I loved pointillism style works which were influenced by Bruce Nauman and Philp Guston. I was intrigued by watercolor on paper and then I graduated to working with oil. In 1999 I met Master artist Dragan Dragic in Savoillan, France who became my long time mentor. Through his guidance I learned the Matisse palette and his contribution to the combinations. With the incredible gift of new colors and products, Dragan encouraged me to tackle acrylic paint. I absolutely love both oil and acrylic. I believe the blueprint is monumentally flexible!
Because Of You
Which project have you worked on transformed you the most and why?
In 2014 my very close friends Brian Melo, Andrew Rudd and Victoria Boland were living in Nashville working on writing their music and performing. They connected to an artist of Cherokee heritage. During a visit to her cottage on the Cumberland River stories were shared and they began to write songs about the Trail of Tears and She Who Carries the Sun. It was during the same period of time I was on the Ontario Cabinet for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. I had just met Vince Fontaine from the band Eagle and Hawk, an award winning Indigenous group. The music of both artists absolutely inspired me. I spent the following year creating a body of work which was transformative, lonely and very healing. The pieces were deeply significant as I felt the depth of so much loss and beauty which surrounded the lives of those who lived during that time. I had the privilege of showcasing this work in September 2017 at Gallery on the Bay in Hamilton. This past year I decided to deepen my knowledge and completed the Indigenous Canada course from the University of Alberta.
How important was it for you to find your artistic tribe and what advice would you give to up and coming artists?
The best advice I can offer is to pay attention to everything! We sometimes ignore incredible opportunities which can open doors for our betterment. If you are fortunate to be studying in an Academic environment there will be a convergence of artists and relationships can often spark progress. I was very fortunate to find a mentor in France who believed in me and was willing to invest his time and wisdom. Not everyone finds their “tribe”, but it is very important to acknowledge those who have inspired you along the way. The gallery relationships are also important as sometimes they occur because of your “showing up” for someone else. Always remember, if you show up, things happen!
How has your work changed the path and trajectory of your career?
Remarkable moments have been humbly received which actually improved my confidence to continue. The serious awards and accolades become bench marks by which I am accountable. When I was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada three times and then inducted into the Hall of Fame the recognition supported the value of my work. In 2018 and 2019 I received the Gold Medal in Photography at the SNBA (Salon Nationale Beaux Arts) in Paris at the Carrousel du Louvre and the Silver Medal in Photography from the Société académique Arts Sciences Lettres, Paris. This year I am the recipient of the Pewter Medal in Painting from the Societe Academique Arts Sciences and Lettres, Paris. My career has always been very serious and I have loved being acknowledged for the efforts and creations. The results have pushed me to work harder with more clarity.
Escape To Reality
Writing is considered to be a solitary artistic pursuit and not for everyone. What aspects of writing do you particularly love and what are other areas that you would prefer to do without?
There is an incredible satisfaction which arrives during the writing process. In my first book Karmic Alibi, I tapped into something which I absolutely loved! It was a different experience from painting. Revelations were abundant and the results were wisdom based. I was surprised at how easily the words flowed and my temperament was very calm and committed. I think as an artist, we are alone with the canvas face to face examining ghostly space, filling it with our own feelings. Writing was much the same, the blank pages were canvases for my thoughts and the search for the highest and best seemed a natural progression.
Mind, body, and spirit are intrinsically linked and are factors in how we live day to day and coexist with our fellow man. How has your approach to mindful living and meditation influenced other areas of your life? Do you have any advice for those that are seeking new ways to transform their minds?
My life has always been guided by a profound yearning to know more, to examine life from the perspective of higher consciousness. Fishing around the universe, seeking knowledge and reveling in the golden rule. I was fortunate to have studied Applied Mindfulness and Transformative Mindfulness at the University of Toronto. In culmination with many years of studying the esoteric mystery schools of Buddhism there is a constant reminder of how magical being in a human body truly is. We are truly the universe looking at itself, living in between the moments. This is the transcendental realism of life. The neuroplasticity movement has jumped up the ranks with people like Dr. Joe Dispenza offering methods and new ways to rewire your thinking. While meditation seems like an easy practice, it is without a doubt one of the most difficult challenges, yet we learn so much about ourselves as we sit in the quietude. I highly recommend everyone takes the plunge!
We are living at a historical time during this global pandemic. How have you re-directed your life and career during this time?
Since March, 2020 I have read more books, caught up on all my correspondence, taken several on-line courses and become more patient. As I spend a great deal of time alone, it was not much of a shift for me. Without hesitation, I paid more attention to opportunities for artists than before. It is wonderful to see how the artistic community has opened its doors for so many people to be introduced to art. I continue to do my “service” work as Co-founder of Help Heal Humanity and have made significant efforts to support those who are less fortunate. The pandemic has hurt many people in different ways, physical health, emotionally and financially. The outreach has included feeding the homeless, putting care packages together and being available to mentor via zoom to those who need help. Our lives have been given a “downtime” which I feel was really needed. The world seemed to be going a zillion miles an hour and for some, it was (is) a shock. Taking moments to reflect on what is really important has begun to reshape what I will do in the future.
What do you think is important to remember as we all collectively attempt to get through this?
Take time every day to be grateful for your life. We are one humanity and equanimity must be paramount. This means we must learn how to share, see others as family. I love how in some odd way people are beginning to understand the value and gifts of Mother Gaia. We have taken so much for granted and now we must learn to make amends, get along, share our assets. This is our karmic destiny.
If you could give any advice to your younger self, what would it be?
First and without hesitation, I would follow my intuition~ It has to be the greatest gift we have been given. If I could have followed the gut instincts all the time, I know things would be completely different than they are now. The best thing you can do, is listen and be guided by what you really feel.
What’s next up for you?
Just putting the final touches on a new program I will be releasing. It’s called the Karmic Art Experience. I am interested in supporting people through mindfulness and meditation, however, using a new technique I have developed. I don’t think of this as art therapy at all. If anything I believe all humans have the potential to be “creators”. After listening to people say they are not artistic, have no talent, I want to share concepts which I believe will encourage seeing themselves differently, as creatives. In addition, I am working on writing a fiction book and a re-write of Karma and Cash. I am continuing to create new paintings for The 13th Street Gallery and hopefully exhibit at a few art fairs when they are permitted.
Keep up with Gagic and her work through her website, and social media networks listed below.